By Tessa Castor
Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Max and Typhoon Talim are just some of the recent natural disasters to have hit the world in the last month. With these natural disasters come injuries and deaths, and organizations like the American Red Cross look for blood donors who are willing to save some lives.
This Wednesday, the athletic training education program will pair with the American Red Cross to host their annual fall blood drive in Wroten Hall. The athletic trainers planned the event for assessment day to ensure that students have time to donate, said Lisa Braun, director of athletic training education.
Braun said that the need for blood has increased with recent natural disasters, and that each blood donation can save up to three lives.
“We do want to try to get as many people to donate as possible,” said Braun, who said donating blood is a good alternative to donating money.
From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., students from the athletic training education program will work in shifts to help donors check in, walk to the donation area and the snack station, and donate blood themselves. Braun said that the best part of the event is seeing so many young people donating blood, many for the first time.
“I like to think maybe it’ll start a lifelong tradition for them,” said Braun. “It’s probably easier than they think. Just give it a try.”
The trainers have done a good job of meeting their past goals, said Braun, and she said she expects another good turnout from this semester’s event. The fall blood drive’s success prompted the addition of a spring blood drive three years ago. Braun said that, if students are interested, the athletic trainers might one day plan a third annual drive, though assessment day proves to be convenient for most students donors.
Those interested in scheduling an appointment to donate may contact Braun at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 620-229-6226. The athletic trainers will accept walk-ins on the day of the drive, though donors may need to wait longer without an appointment.
Donors must bring a valid state-issued driver’s license with them to donate, said Braun, and they should eat a healthy breakfast the morning of the drive. Braun said she also suggests donors drink plenty of water days before the event.
Caitlin Koch, athletic training sophomore, was a part of last year’s blood drive, where she made sure donors had a snack and drank water after donating. This year, Koch said she hopes for the college to have an even better turnout than before.
“My goal is to get as many pints of blood as we can,” said Koch. “Blood is something that’s always needed. There’s almost never enough, so it’s always a great thing to donate blood.”
Koch said that the best part of the drive is knowing that the blood will go to a good place, helping people who have had to face disasters like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
“It’s rewarding to give,” said Koch. “Giving blood isn’t as scary as you think it is. That blood is going to go to someone who needs it more than you do at that moment.”
Like Braun, Koch said that giving blood is a good alternative for college students who may be unable to donate money to various causes.
“Everyone should donate blood,” said Koch. “It’s a great thing to do. If you don’t have money to donate to charities, giving blood is a good way to help people in need.”
This year, Darci Collins, athletic training junior, will work the blood drive event for the first time. After transferring from Allen Community College last year, Collins donated blood at last year’s drive. Collins said she is looking forward to donating again as well as working the event for the first time.
“I hope we collect as much blood as possible,” said Collins. “Blood donations are in high demand.”
Collins said that her favorite part of the event is donating, and that she hopes students know that their donations are important.
“I like knowing that we’re doing something that’s needed,” said Collins. “It’s just a good feeling to give blood.”
Tessa Castor is a sophomore majoring in English. You may email her at email@example.com.